About 18 members of the CCC gathered on Saturday morning to head up the Forestry Trunk road with their camera gear and lunches, hoping to see the iconic Alberta wild horses, and knowing for sure we would enjoy the fall colours of the foothills. Pat Johnston led the group. We carpooled in 5 cars.
It had snowed a bit, which gave a good contrast to the forestry terrain, but not enough to be a concern driving.
The convoy was hampered in early morning by a fog but it burned off and the sky was filled with broken clouds against blue sky, while the Rockies were dusted with fresh snow. Waiparous View Point was socked in, normally it’s the “money shot” of the Rockies and foothills! (Jason went back a few days later and got shot…the featured image)
Our early search for wild horses was not successful however we did stop at good landscape venues.
At the MountainAire Lodge intersection on the Red Deer River Pat took the group north towards Yahatinda Ranch.
We were rewarded by encountering very tame wild sheep that showed great curiosity and no concerns at all with our group. Telephoto lenses were put away for wide angle ones. The encounter was quite humorous!
Lunch was by the side of the road in a clearing, notably used by free range cattle…careful where you step!
By afternoon, we had passed through very prospective horse country with no luck, but undaunted, the convoy carried on towards Sundre. Several vehicles spotted what looked like wild horses and disconnected from the lead vehicles. Tom led the rest westward from the Bearberry Valley up on to Parker Ridge where we encountered our intended photo subjects! Half a dozen shy wild horses were standing in the pines, peeking at us. The group stalked them quietly and the horses slowly retreated.
Meanwhile a driver was coming back on the road and we asked about more horses—indeed, there were more ahead! We drove on and were rewarded with photos of a beautiful black stallion and his little herd of mares. There was one colt in the group too.
We did not get back to Cochrane until almost supper time but it was mission accomplished, and a little bit more, with unexpected sheep pictures as well as spectacular fall scenery and wild horses!
Pat noted that this club outing had the highest turnout ever. We hope the word gets around to everyone that these activities are a great way to challenge your photographic skills, visit with fellow like-minded members, get off the couch, and enjoy our wonderful part of the world.
See you on the next one!
Blog and outing coordinator, Tom Donaghy
Featured photo by Jason